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Connectivity drags down Digital India in rural areas

The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has completely failed to even kick off the Digital India programme and will be unable to do so till March, 2019, as there is no mobile or internet connectivity in many rural parts of the country.Digital India, a flagship programme of the government of India with a vision to transform the country into a digitally empowered society, is one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet projects.The ministry cannot start the programme as it doesn’t have basic infrastructure or platform in place. It is dependent on the Department of Telecommunication and its initiative Bharat Net, a high-speed digital highway connecting all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats of the country. Bharat Net, expected to be the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity project using optical fibre, is estimated to be completed by March, 2019.For instance, e-Panchayat project, one of the Mission Mode Projects under the Digital India Programme, is yet to be properly started.Under the project, core common software applications had been developed to address various aspects of Panchayat functioning, including budgeting, planning, accounting, monitoring, social audit, and delivery of citizen services.But all this is of no use as “there is no network connectivity in major rural areas of the country.” A ministry note stated: “The ministry would take effective and expeditious steps to increase the connectivity coverage so that the e-Panchayat is enabled in every village.”For strengthening of Panchayats and gram sabhas, the ministry needs to reach out to multiple and diverse groups, especially the rural populace, and media and publicity play a very important and crucial role in creating awareness. Due to zero internet or mobile connectivity, however, they are unable to do anything.The ministry has prepared various audio-visual programmes, documentaries, and mobile applications, but all these serve no purpose till there is no connectivity. “The elected representatives are not aware of their rights and privileges. This has become a major hurdle in effective delivery of citizen services,” the note stated.Furthermore, the ministry has also been unable to start a scheme to provide ATM services in Panchayat bhawans. To kick it off, an inter-ministerial committee has already been constituted. But again, the connectivity problem remains. Another problem is the lack of basic infrastructure. Of the 2.5 lakh gram Panchayats, nearly 46,000 do not have their own building.

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A dialogue with JC | Manoj Sinha on his way to realise Modi’s Digital Dreams

Q: You are implementing Prime Minister’s vision of digital India. How do you view the entire campaign?A: Our ministry is providing infrastructure for ‘Digital India’. The UPA government had launched BharatNet known as National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) in 2012. It was supposed to be completed in two phases. Between 2012 and 2014, only 328km optical fiber lines were laid. However, during three years of Modi government 2.48 lakh km lines have been laid. First phase target was broadband in one lakh gram panchayats, which has been achieved of which 86% work was done by the BSNL. In the second phase, the target is to cover 1.5 lakh gram panchayats by 2019. We are careful in the second phase. Eight states have come forward to do the work and we have signed MoU with four of them. We will definitely achieve the target of providing broadband to six lakh villages.Q: How did you transform BSNL into a profit making PSU?A: BSNL’s growth was hampered due to some reasons but now there is improvement in technology. BSNL is at present there, where no one else is. It is there where money can’t be made. It works in every circumstance and performs its social responsibility. The credit goes to its officials and workers. In the future, BSNL would do even better and fulfill expectations of the country.Q: How will you improve financial health of public sector telecom companies?A: BSNL’s financial condition is not bad. At least in the last three years it has improved. In last one and half year, there is churning in telecom sector. Other service providers have been losing market share but our share is increasing. MTNL has certain problems, which I do not want to discuss here. Merger of MTNL with BSNL will cause problems for the latter. We are discussing about improving MTNL’s condition. Indian telecom industry will turn into black from the next financial year; this is a surprisingly positive news for the country.Q: What is the status of new telecom policy which is in the offing?A: We are working on it. It will be out in March 2018.Q: Do you think Jio’s launch is a big move in direction of PM’s digital India?A: Digital India has benefitted immensely from Jio. Yes, Jio has contributed but there are other factors as well. We welcome new service providers.Q: But Jio has brought cut throat competition in the telecom industry? Other telecom companies are facing the heat and incurring losses? Are they satisfied? Are they thinking of giving incentives to them?A: This happens whenever a new entrant comes. This is business competition but the government is neutral and it will take decision in the interest of consumers. For the government ‘customer is king’.Q: What is your opinion about CBI court’s verdict in 2G spectrum case?A: One should see this judgment from a different perspective. If I kill someone and no one comes up in the court to testify against me, I would be acquitted but this is true that I have murdered a person. The Supreme Court had ruled that there was irregularity in allocating spectrum licence. The apex court said that those who got licence had proximity with those in power. So, their acquittal doesn’t mean that Congress starts giving certificate of honesty. The country is aware that there was huge corruption in it. When the judgement came and the auctions took place for the first time, you just add up the amount: in 2015, Rs 1.09 lakh crore and Rs 65,678 crore in 2016, which comes to Rs 1.76 lakh crore. I think that the country knows that some people escaped for lack of evidence. It is up to investigating agencies to appeal against it. The apex court had said that “first come, first pay” policy was based on valuation of 2001 but spectrum were given in 2000. What it means is that they were served first. Understand this difference, it would have made sense if targets of 2001 and 2009, were set in 2000.Q: Will it be an issue for the Congress in 2019?A: No, we do not want to contest election on this issue. We will go to people with what we have done in five years, which did not happen in 50 years. We will contest on change in lives of the poor. There is prosperity in the country and we will contest in the name of development.Q: What do you feel about forming government in Gujarat for the sixth time?A: A large section in the country wants to see Modi ji as PM. Only Modi ji could have made it possible to win in Gujarat despite being in power for 22 years.Q: After Gujarat and Himachal are you hopeful of regaining power in Karnataka?A: Not just Karnataka but we will form governments in the North-East states wherever we are not in power at present.Q: Do you think that Modi ji is now a global leader?A: Undoubtedly and this is a matter of pride. Modi ji is counted among the strongest leaders in the world.Q: Do you have any godfather in the politics?A: I do not have a godfather. BJP’s policies and principles are my godfather. Other parties may have godfathers. I was an ordinary worker who has reached this stage.Q: How is Yogi government’s performance in the UP?A: The government is doing a good job in Uttar Pradesh. Our government is working as per our ‘Sankalp patra’.Q: What are your thoughts about party president Amit Shah’s work?A: Amit Shah has killer instinct. He works on war footing to ensure victory. We have been performing well even in those areas where the BJP’s support base is weak.

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When Hindustan stands Digi-tall, Zeeshan se…

In today’s parlance we don’t start with A to Z. Instead we start from D to Zee. Literally. Where D stands for Digital India and Zee is the medium to spread this message.Future of India is being written in digital cryptography. The country is home to second largest population of cell phone users and this connectivity has emerged as the new tool bridging geographical and social divide. As the Modi government advances the Digital India campaign to tap the potential of cell phone connectivity, ‘New India 2017’ conclave of Zee Hindustan held in Jaipur, explored the scenario and possibilities of progress ahead.“This conclave is a platform to invite ideas and present them ahead of policy-makers,” said CEO Zee Hindustan Jagdeesh Chandra while welcoming an elite gathering of delegate and audience.As the hosts, briefed on concept of the conclave chief guest on the occasion MoS, Communications (independent charge) Manoj Sinha presented the vision of government in the direction.“It’s 75th year of August Kranti in which our freedom fighters resolved for Independence of India, this year we resolve to make India a country that the great freedom fighters had envisaged,” said the minister.He expressed delight that the tele-density in the country has increased from less than 2 per cent when BJP government came to power under leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee to 75 per cent today. He mentioned the initiatives taken by the Modi government and assured that in future tele infrastructure will boost development of the country. The conclave was presented by India’s state owned telecommunication company BSNL and participated by policy-makers, experts and industry representatives from state and outside. BSNL CMD, Anupam Shrivastava discussing the rise and downs of the company explained BSNL’s contribution in connecting India, especially the rural and remote to mainstream Digital revolution. “We have overcome the infrastructure shortcomings that the company faced a few years earlier and improved our ranking among top 4 service providers of the country,” said Shrivastava. “We are advancing towards introducing our 4G Volte services soon and continue on plan to connect panchayats with optical fibre,” he added.Speaking at the conclave eminent businessman, CMD of Kent RO systems Mahesh Gupta stressed on the scope of telecom services and its penetration in life of common man, “Mobile phone is today among necessities of a common man. As an industry dealing in water purification we find the telecom technology integrating in RO and other appliances to provide better services to people,” said Mahesh Gupta.Also among the dignitaries and policy-makers present on the occasion were also BJP state president Ashok Parnami, UDH minister Shrichand Kriplani, Agriculture minister Prabhulal Saini, Jaipur MP Ramcharan Bohra, Jaipur mayor Ashok Lahoti and other senior officials and industrialists.

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Manoj Sinha rides bullet train at Digital speed to create New India

An important member of Team Modi – Manoj Sinha is in Jaipur to deliberate on Rising New India at a conclave orgainsed by popular national channel Zee Hindustan, in association with Urdu voice of India Zee Salaam and regional channel ZEE Rajasthan along with leading English newspaper DNA.His trademark long kurta can’t cover the good work he has done so far as the state minister for railways and communication (independent charge). Manoj Sinha, a three-time BJP MP is among rare ministers who are known for their proximity to both – Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. His equation with Modi is evident from the fact that besides giving him two important ministeries, Modi has also made him incharge of Varanasi – the constituency which PM represents. But the trust and power Sinha enjoys, doesn’t get into his head. It translates into his performance only to prove that Modi has a great choice and judgement of persons. He is both recognised for a strong ability to connect with masses, especially at the rural level along with being a firm administrator.A silent performer, Sinha has etched a mark in both the ministeries in a short period. So much so that Sinha is considered a top performer in Team Modi assigned to create a New India. Then Zee Group’s popular national channel Hindustan, in association with Urdu voice of India Zee Salaam and regional channel ZEE Rajasthan along with leading English newspaper DNA, in its pursuit for a narrative about Rising New India created an opportunity to invite Manoj Sinha for knowing his views and his thoughts on building the New Nation. He will be seen deliberating with top political and business leaders, strategists to create a roadmap to trudge the development path. Sinha reached Jaipur on Friday and was received at the airport by Jagdeesh Chandra, CEO, Zee Hindustan, OP Gupta, CGM, Raj telecom circle, Sanjay Kumar, PGM Sales and Marketing, Corporate office, Satish Sharma, PGM Telecom, District Jaipur, TP Singh, GM, North Western Railways and SD Sharma, Chariman Devasthan Board.A civil engineer, Sinha means business. His style of working has won many a followers in recent times. Modi’s dream of Digital India in no more a far fetched ambition with Sinha in the driving seat of the communication ministry. He recently launched Rs 1400 crore project DARPAN – “Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for A New India” to improve the quality of service and add value to services for rural customers. It intends to provide a low power technology solution to each Branch Postmaster (BPM). This will enable all 1.29 Lakhs Branch Post Offices (BOs) to improve the level of services being offered to rural customers across all the states. This will also serve dual purpose – another dream of Modi aiming financial inclusion of unbanked rural population.The telecom ministry, which is undergoing turmoil, has the right man at helm. Sinha says that telecom sector post consolidation will pick up in next 6-8 months. Now that the Jinn of 2G is out of the bottle, country is ready for 5G with spectrums vacant for fresh auctions. Despite previous controversies, Sinha is not afraid of taking decisions in national interest.“India will rise on Digitalisation and telecommunication. Modernisation of the most economical and efficient transport mode – railways – is equally important to cover long distance of development in shortest time. Thankfully, Sinha is piloting both the important departments. India will take giants leaps toward building New Nation,” said a senior BJP leader.

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Opposition has no facts & figures: Ashok Parnami

The state BJP president Ashok Parnami came down on the opposition’s criticism of the BJP government with tabled figures of the governments achievement over the past four years. Addressing the media on the evening of Vasundhara Raje led government in state, the BJP president also had on his disposal tally of the awards and initiatives held by the present government.“The opposition has been making baseless allegations, they do not have facts and figures on their side. Its on these figures that credibility of statements stands,” said Parnami. “Raje government’s works have been acclaimed across the country and have received several prestigious awards including CM Raje being awarded as ‘Digital leader of the Year’ in 2016-17,” Parnami asserted.In a comparative statement of performance he showed that under the present government’s four year tenure till October of this year the electricity production has increased by 6938.21 MW where the increase in the previous government’s five year tenure was 3953.89 MW. There were 22.67 lakh new electricity connections so far been issued by the government which is over 3 lakh more than those issued by previous government. The electricity subsidy of Rs 25011.89 crore extended by the government is more than 8 times of the subsidy provided by the previous government. The balance sheet of over a dozen departments presented by Parnami not only held the Raje government ahead on its flagship schemes and focus sectors of water, road and power, it also showed of the government to have excelled the former in schemes such as MNREGA.

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India to offer technical expertise to 3 countries

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian government will closely collaborate with three countries — Iran, Denmark and Mauritius, on cyber issues.A joint working group has been set up with Iran for collaboration in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), while a MoU with Denmark has been signed for future cooperation in IT related areas.Mauritius has shown interest in India’s service of Digital Locker. A joint working group already exists with Mauritius. Now, the Indian government will offer technical support and advisory services to Mauritius for setting up of Digital Locker services, Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary , Ministry of Electronics and IT said on the sidelines of GCCS 2017.DigiLocker, is a key initiative under Digital India, aimed at transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. DigiLocker ties into Digital India’s visions areas of providing citizens a shareable private space on a public cloud and making all documents/certificates available on this cloud.DigiLocker, a platform for issuance and verification of documents and certificates in a digital way, eliminating the use of physical documents. Indian citizens who sign up for a DigiLocker account get a dedicated cloud storage space that is linked to their Aadhaar (UIDAI) number. The service is aimed at the idea of paperless governance.Organizations that are registered with Digital Locker can push electronic copies of documents and certificates (e.g. driving license, Voter ID, School certificates) directly into citizen’s lockers. Citizens can also upload scanned copies of their legacy documents in their accounts. These legacy documents can be electronically signed using the eSign facility, according to the ministry.Recently, the government allowed people to carry driving license in their Digital Locker, which will be recognised by traffic department.Digital Locker provides access to driving license, vehicle registration certificate, Aadhaar, CBSE and other educational certificates. Till now, 8.87 million users are registered with Digital Locker and 12.14 million documents have uploaded on it.Digital Locker was launched two years ago by Prime Minister Narendra Modi under the Digital India drive. The idea was facilitate access to documents anytime and anywhere, doing away with a need of carrying physical documents.

BMS paper leak: 5 students take exam under police watch

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five students who were arrested by Amboli police for allegedly leaking the third-year question papers of Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS), ‘Marketing and E-commerce and Digital Marketing’, appeared for their examinations under police watch on Monday. Police probe revealed that question papers of Bachelor Accounting and Finance (BAF), too, were leaked.The Amboli police will soon arrest the female student who was first found with the question paper in her cellphone while writing the exam. According to police, main accused Kalpesh Bagul, head of the technical department of the Nirmal Memorial Foundation College in Kandivli, had leaked five question papers of the BMS course and four question papers of BAF course.”We escorted the students to their examination centres and they were kept under watch while taking the exam. On Monday, 13 accused, including students, were produced before Andheri court and remanded to judicial custody and were later released on bail.”, said an Amboli police officer.Police sub-inspector Daya Nayak and his team had arrested three other people during interrogations after it was learnt that the question papers of BAF were leaked too. “Even those students who did not pay money for the question papers also received the copy through WhatsApp. The students had passed on the question papers to their friends and they benefited from it leading to their arrests.

Big brother watched on: A look at traffic police’s initiatives that have failed to live up to expectations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In October 2016, amid much fanfare, the Mumbai traffic police announced that they would be introducing an e-challan system to replace the archaic pavti (receipt) system. The ambitious plan aimed to make the traffic police force go cashless so that they don’t have to physically collect fines from motorists on the streets.While the move was touted as an image makeover for the traffic police, another intended advantage of adopting the system was to end the corruption prevailing in the department and bring down police-citizen conflicts.The decision was welcomed by Mumbaikars who assumed it would negate ‘harassment’ from traffic policemen, and make paying fines a less time-consuming and hassle-free process.From road to appThe Mumbai Traffic Police even introduced an app, and appealed citizens to enter their vehicle, residential and contact details on the app, which could be used to prepare a full-fledged database.The traffic police officials had also physically sought these details from motorists during sustained drives carried out in the city.They also contacted the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) to share their vehicle registration database with the Mumbai Traffic Police.CCTV watching youIn a phase-wise manner, a CCTV network was installed across the city, under an ambitious project of the state government. The use of these cameras was not only to monitor the city’s law and order situation, but its feeds were also tapped into by the Mumbai Traffic Police to monitor traffic on a real-time basis and identify traffic offenders.By 2016, around 4,700 CCTV cameras were installed at strategic locations, junctions, and roads across the city. A team of over 25 policemen, posted in the Mumbai Traffic Police control room, was tasked with monitoring the live feeds of these cameras and identify traffic offenders. Once the offenders were identified, they were intimated via SMS about the e-challan issued against them. The offenders were then expected to login into the Mumbai Traffic Police app and make the fine payment. The app also provided offenders with an image, captured by the CCTV at the time of the traffic violation, to be used as evidence.PLANNED TO GO DIGITAL, WENT BACK TO SQUARE ONEWhen the plan was initially rolled out, the Mumbai Traffic Police had instructed its men to not insist that motorists pay the fines at the time of getting caught violating the rules. Instead, the officials were advised to issue an e-challan against them. Later, if the offender did not make the payment via the digital route, the department planned to levy interest on the offender’s fine amount.The Mumbai Traffic Police had also stopped seizing licenses of offending motorists after the e-challan system’s introduction.However, within a few months, the department realised that offenders were not paying the fines at all and the total amount of unpaid fines ran into crore of rupees.Failure to get access to the database of all vehicle users was another hindrance in implementing the system effectively. This resulted in not being able to identify and trace offenders in most of the cases.Seeing the entire system crumble due to various flaws and loopholes in its implementation, the officials soon went back to their archaic ways of dealing with motorists. The Mumbai Traffic Police began collecting fines by impounding licenses and forcing motorists to pay the fine on the spot. With this, police-citizen conflicts were back on the roads.NOT ENOUGH MACHINESThe Mumbai Traffic Police provided its personnel with more than 500 e-challan machines to issue challans on the spot, and allow offending motorists to pay the fine using debit or credit cards. However, the number of machines proved to be marginal considering the large-scale crowd that the Mumbai Traffic police deals with across the city.Sushil Joshi, a motorist who recently faced a tough time dealing with a traffic policeman at a nakabandi in Ghatkopar, said, “While they are using e-challan machines at a few places, even now, in several parts, the police asks us to pay in cash. They do not use the e-challan machines despite it being functional, and ask us to pay the fines in cash stating that they do not have swiping machines. Why should we pay in cash when there is a facility of paying through cards?”The traffic police started the e-challan system half-heartedly and handled it casually which is why the effect is not what it should have been. —Ashok Datar, road and traffic expertNAKABANDI NUISANCEAccording to motorists, the biggest issue that has plagued Mumbai’s Traffic Police Department and proved to be the triggering device for police-citizen conflicts is nakabandi. Police officials, however, claim that nakabandi is only carried out on receiving information about criminals plying in the area. In the process, the officials check vehicles and fine motorists if they are found violating Motor Vehicle Act rules.A traffic police officer, on the condition of anonymity, said, “Nakabandi and checks are carried out by both the local and traffic police. It is during these checks that policemen from both departments come across motorists violating traffic rules. The local police is not armed with e-challan machines. This at times leads to conflicts. Whereas traffic police do not accept fines in cash and use e-challan machines.”PAY UP OR ALLOW TOWINGLike the issue of nakabandi, similar issues prevail in the towing system. Since the traffic policemen working in coordination with towing van operators have not been provided e-challan machines, the Mumbai Traffic Police had instructed its men to click pictures of the vehicles violating parking rules, upload them on the Mumbai Traffic Police app and later get e-challans issued against the offenders. However, a lack of e-challan machines led to quarrels between motorists and policemen during instances of towing of vehicles.”Neither can we accept fines in cash nor are we provided e-challan machines. Hence it results in conflicts with citizens. We have no option left but to tow the vehicle, bring it to the traffic police chowky and release it after the fine is paid,” accepted a Mumbai Traffic Police officer.TRAFFIC DEPT NOT TO ASK FOR PUC, INSURANCE DOCUMENTSIn March this year, after receiving several complaints from motorists about the harassment they faced from traffic policemen on the pretext of asking for PUC and insurance documents, the then Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Milind Bharambe, had issued a written order instructing traffic policemen to not stop motorists merely to check their PUC and insurance documents. This was another move aimed at curbing the police-citizen conflicts. According to the traffic police, these documents should be checked by the RTO. However, even this order is being brazenly disobeyed by the traffic police personnel.A motorist and Malad resident, Nitin Jadhav, said, “On Thursday I was stopped at Marol by a policeman who was part of a nakabandi at the spot. He asked me to show my PUC and insurance documents. Since I did not have them with me, he told me that I would have to pay a penalty of Rs 4,000. After a lot of time-consuming negotiation, he agreed on Rs 300 in cash. I was allowed to leave only after making the payment. However, I was given no receipt, neither was I informed about the offence I had violated, under which rule, and the fine’s actual amount.”FINE COLLECTION STATISTICSFROM JAN 2016 TO OCTOBER 201628 lakhNumber of challans issued Rs 24 crFine collection amount FROM NOVEMBER 2016 TO JUNE 201720.1 lakhNumber of challans issued Rs 6.2 crFine collection amount MONTHLY AVERAGE OF OFFENDERS CAUGHT4 lakh47New Automatic Speed Cameras Installed In The City57New High Tech Breathalyzers Procured

PM Narendra Modi congratulates Indians on winning black money battle

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Calling demonetization a “historic and multi-dimensional success” on its first anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated 125 crore Indians for fighting, and winning, a decisive battle against black money.In a series of tweets under #AntiBlackMoneyDay, Modi said: “I bow to the people of India for steadfastly supporting the several measures taken by the government to eradicate corruption and black money.”In another tweet, he attached a 7-minute documentary film, showcasing him as the harbinger of a new era in a corruption-ridden India, and benefitting the poor and punishing the corrupt rich. In the video, the PM said that when he became the PM, the country was in a dire state due to corruption and black money. He called demonetization a step that was never taken before or even thought of in the independent India.In yet another tweet, the PM asked the countrymen to share feedback on demonetization on NMApp.”People have received multiple benefits from demonetization, such as a reduced rate of interest for loans, a decrease in real estate prices, increased income of urban local bodies, and so on,” he said.In a slide posted on Twitter, Modi called the move a “decisive blow to terrorism and Naxalism”. He claimed that stone-pelting incidents in Kashmir have come down by 75 per cent and incidents related to the Left Wing Extremism were down by 20 per cent. He further noted that as many as 7.62 lakh counterfeit notes have been detected, so far.Toeing his line, BJP leaders, including many Union ministers, also enumerated the “benefits” of demonetization, claiming that the move exposed black money, forged a more digitised economy, and widened the tax base.Describing the move as an effort to change the prevalent economic situation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: “India wants to migrate from middle-income economy to a developed one. But in our system, most big investments are done through black money. Even in businesses, people maintain two types of (accounts) books. People are always trying to evade taxes.”Union minister Nitin Gadkari said the decision led to 58 per cent growth in digital transactions and an increase in the number of taxpayers. The Centre’s scrapping of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8, last year, hurt those who had black money, he added.Meanwhile, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani flagged off a Digital Rath in the Capital this morning, to create awareness regarding cashless transactions. Interacting with traders, Irani said small merchants were the backbone of economy and a less-cash society will bring in more transparency.National secretary of the Confederations of All India Traders, Praveen Khandelwal, said the Digital Rath will travel from Delhi to Lucknow, Kolkata, Puducherry, Mumbai, and Bhopal till December 31, reaching out to 10 lakh people.Meanwhile, BJP chief Amit Shah attacked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who had tweeted a picture of an anguished ex-serviceman, Nand Lal, to pan demonetization, saying that people will no longer be misled by such falsity. Shah cited the former soldier’s remarks to the media, wherein he had supported the note ban decision.Seeking to embarrass Gandhi, Shah tagged a fresh interview of Lal. He added that the Congress always grabbed power with false portrayal of the poor but it was no longer possible to dupe the country with “false tears and pictures”.”The real face of the Congress has been unmasked and a new India has emerged,” the BJP chief tweeted in Hindi, with his own poetic barb at Gandhi.

Centre to crack down on officers for speaking to media sans nod

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central government has decided to crack down on officers for interacting with the media without permission from relevant authorities, a move that is aimed at regulating information flow to the public.”It has come to the notice of this ministry that some officers of this ministry/media units interact with media without authorisation from the competent authority,” a recent circular released by the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting says.Sources said that other central ministries are also likely to be issued similar directives soon.The circular warns officials to restrain from communicating with mediapersons without being authorised by the competent authority and also inform other officers in respective departments of the directive.The circular has been sent to top officials of the I&B Ministry and other departments, highlighting the procedures and guidelines to follow, if they speak to the media. It refers to the Press Information Bureau’s Information Dissemination Manual 2017, which lays down guidelines for officers’ interaction with the media on the government’s behalf.Highlighting chapter 3 of the manual dealing with communication with the media, the circular says that official information to the “Press, Electronic and Digital media will normally be communicated through the Press Information Bureau.”It says that only ministers, secretaries and other officers authorised to speak to the media may give information or be accessible to the media.”Any other official, if approached by a representative of media, will direct him/her to the Press Information Bureau or will seek permission of the Minister or the Secretary of the ministry/department before meeting the media person,” it says.It says that the Information, Education and Communication (ICE) strategies for various programmes and policies of the ministries should be prepared in consultation with relevant PIB officers.Earlier, the cabinet secretariat had also asked ministries to prepare detailed communication plans when they send Cabinet notes.

Blue Whale Challenge: After Haryana student’s suicide, police confiscates 5 phones of his friends

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid rising concerns over the Blue Whale Challenge, the Haryana police have confiscated mobile phones of five friends of a 16-year-old boy who committed suicide on Saturday.The police have tracked 11 friends of Karan Thakur suspected to be in the grip of the deadly game and seven are from the DAV Senior Secondary School where he was studying, reported Indian Express.The police contacted their parents and got their mobiles confiscated. Along with Karan’s phone, they have been sent to the Digital Investigation Training and Analysis Centre in Gurgaon to analyze the data and retrieve deleted information.Police told the daily that they took a decision to get the mobile data examined by experts in Gurgaon.The report also said that the Panchkula police have issued an advisory on Tuesday, which said: “Reach out to your kids before the Blue Whale does”. The five-point advisory asks the parents to monitor their children’s online activity.Schools have also been asked to observe any visible marks like cuts or wounds on the body and verify the precise cause.In the last few months, the deadly online game has claimed several lives. Last week, a 12-year-old boy was found dead on railway tracks in Uttar Pradesh.The Blue Whale Challenge is reportedly a suicide game in which the player is given certain tasks to complete over a period of 50 days and the final task leads him or her to commit suicide.The player is also asked to share photos after finishing each challenge.Admitting to being the driving factor behind the suicides of youngsters playing the game, Philipp Budeikin, who claims to have created the game, says that the victims were just ‘biological waste’.”Victims were ‘happy to die’ and I am ‘cleansing society’,” Budeikin told police when he was arrested in May this year.A 17-year-old Russian girl has also been arrested by police for allegedly being the mastermind behind the Blue Whale Challenge, that encouraged players to commit suicide.

Women cyber complaint portal to be up by March 2018

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The women and child development ministry on Wednesday said that the Cyber Crime Prevention of Women and Children (CCPWC) project, on which the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) are collaborating, will now be operational by March 2018; it was supposed to be completed by December this year.The WCD ministry said that while work on the project is being carried out by the three government agencies, women and children who are facing increasing instances of abuse on online platforms should report it on the Digital Police Portal which was launched last month. The portal has a database of criminals.CCPWC, a project proposed by the MHA under the Nirbhaya Fund, was cleared by the WCD ministry for Rs 244.32 crore in May 2016. Progress on it has been slow and information has been hard to come by. The project involves a platform where complaints can be filed and it will be monitored by the cyber cell of the Home ministry.In March this year, the MHA informed the department-related parliamentary standing committee that is preparing the demand for grants that as part of the project, 36 Cyber Forensics Training Centres will be set up across all states and union territories. Apart from that, 40,500 police officers will be trained across India and a research and development centre will also be established to study cybercrime prevention technologies, to study new tools, and for training and capacity-building.The committee, however, had pulled up the MHA for under-reporting cases of child abuse. “The Committee is aware of the fact that child sexual abuse and related crimes remain overwhelmingly under-reported in this country due to associated stigma and propensity of parents/ guardians to not involve police in these matters. The Committee feels that the process of reporting such crimes needs to be simplified and identity of children involved be protected to ensure that such crimes do not go unreported,” read the report.ABOUT CCPWCCCPWC was proposed by MHA under the Nirbhaya Fund
Ministry of Home Affairs, the National Informatics Centre and the National Crime Records Bureau are collaborating on it
It was cleared by the WCD ministry for Rs 244.32 crore in May 2016

Raghuram Rajan showed mirror to govt, demonetization is ‘Modi made disaster’: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Sharpening its attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress today said demonetization was “Modi Made Disaster” and asked him to introspect whether he has moral right to continue after causing harm to India’s economy and decimating it by over Rs 3 lakh crore.Congress incharge of communication Randeep Surjewala also asked the prime minister to apologise to the nation and hold an immediate inquiry into the alleged demonetization “scam”. He said the entire purpose of demonetization stood defeated after the decision failed to achieve its objectives of curbing black money, fake currency, terror funding and digitisation of financial transactions. “If morality has any basis in our polity, it is time for the Prime Minister to introspect and to think whether he has a moral right to continue in his office even for a day after decimating India’s economy by over Rs 3 lakh crore and causing damage to it,” he told reporters.Surjewala also said, “He must apologise to the Nation. He must also order an immediate enquiry into the demonetization scam.”
ALSO READ Raghuram Rajan slams demonetization, says he was never in favour of itHe said one thing is clear that the “disaster of demonetization was nothing but ‘MMD’ ‘Modi Made Disaster'”. He asked who is responsible for this ‘disaster’ in which India’s economy lost over Rs 3 lakh crore in which housewives lost their lives’ earnings, in which 15 lakh people lost their jobs, medium and small enterprises were forced to shut down and credibility of financial Institutions including Reserve Bank was put under question. The Congress leader said that is why when former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan showed the mirror of truth to the Prime Minister and the BJP government, “it is time for the Prime Minister to introspect”.Surjewala accused the Prime Minister to have “misled” this country and “lied” to the nation and asked him to introspect and think if he should remain in office. He said 99 per cent of the money returned to the banks after demonetization and of the remaining Rs 16,000 crore, one has to still count money deposited with Royal Bank of Nepal and the money deposited in court cases as also with NRIs. “Where is the black-money of Rs 3 to 5 lakh crore which the Attorney General of India promised to the Supreme Court on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi?” he asked.Surjewala said the purpose of note ban stands defeated which the Finance Ministry has stated on November 8. On the issue of ‘naxalism’ and ‘terrorism’ to be fought by demonetization, he said there have been 32 major terror incidents in JK alone and 13 major terror incidents of naxalism. “So how has the ‘Naxalism’ and ‘Terrorism’ stopped?” he asked. The Congress leader also said that before demonetization, the value of monthly ‘Digital Transactions’ was Rs 94 lakh crore and in July 2017 that value has gone up to Rs 104 lakh crore a mere increase of Rs 10 lakh crore.”The real increase in ‘Digital Transactions’ happened to the extent of 58 per cent and 49 per cent between 2011 and 2013. So, even that purpose stands defeated,” he said. The former RBI governor Rajan had cautioned the government against cost of demonetization and suggested that there were better alternatives to achieve the main goals of note ban. In his book titled ‘I Do What I Do: On Reforms Rhetoric and Resolve’, Rajan, who was the governor between 2013 and 2016, had also warned of what would happen if the preparations for demonetization were inadequate.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Mumbai gears up for Ganesh Chaturthi, Ripple effects of SC judgement on privacy, and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. SC judgement on privacy a boost for critics of Aadhaar, Sec 377, vigilantesAadhaar, the world’s biggest biometric programme, facing allegations of data leak and privacy breach, will have to withstand stricter judicial scrutiny. Read more here2. DNA Money Edit: Digital benefits may outweigh privacy concernsIn a country like India, the convenience of getting digitally connected to the outside world might weigh far more than the associated costs of losing your private data. Read more here3. Ranji Trophy players yet to receive payments for 2016-17With a new Ranji Trophy season hardly six weeks away, every single player in the domestic teams are yet to receive their match-day fees for the season 2016-17 that saw Gujarat lifting the trophy in January. Read more here4. Ganesha dons alphabets, old coins in response to artistic callIt seems that every artist in the city is gripped by a creative fervour. Even the devotees are trying their best to make their Ganesh idol look as beautiful as possible. Read more here5. The visarjan will be at Galaxy: Arpita Khan SharmaArpita Khan Sharma and Aayush Sharma on why their Ganpati celebrations have moved to their new home. Read more here

Amid Sikkim stand-off, Chinese phone companies told to give security info over data leak concerns

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amidst reports of data leakage, the government on Wednesday asked 21 smartphone makers, including Chinese firms, to provide details of safety and security practices followed by them to ensure security and privacy of personal data in the mobile phones.The directive by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has been sent to Chinese companies such as Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, OnePlus and Gionee as well as others like Apple, Samsung and Micromax. There have been instances where full contact list and text messages are being leaked in India and abroad, according to sources.The development comes at a time when India and China are in stand-off over Doklam besides rising concern over imports of Chinese IT and telecom products.”There’s a need to ensure safety and security of mobile phones. People use their phones for making payments online, for buying e-commerce stuff. At such a time, it is vital that data is secure,” a senior official from the ministry said on the condition of anonymity.In the first phase, devices, preloaded software, and apps will be under scrutiny. The companies have been given time till August 28 to revert with the required information.The official said that more steps might be taken to contain the overall threat arising from increasing Chinese business interest in India. The government is also undertaking a review of import of electronics and other IT products from China on account of fears about security and data leakages.”All the procedures, architecture, frameworks, and standards adopted by them to ensure security and privacy of users’ data has to be provided. The data centres of most companies are located in China,” the official added.Chinese vendors have about 49 per cent share in the Indian mobile phone handset market in terms of revenues.’Share security info or action will be taken’As per CMR’s India Quarterly Mobile Handset Market Review for Q1 CY 2017, Chinese brands Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo were among the top five with 11.7 per cent, 11.5 per cent, and 10.6 per cent share respectively. Samsung secured the top spot with 29 per cent share by revenues.Faisal Kawoosa, Principal Analyst at Cyber Media Research, raised questions over undertaking such an exercise which need a deep level of engagement from both the sides. “It is not feasible in the current form. How will one validate the authenticity of information provided? Secondly, app makers are also taking users’ data through one way or other, how will you address that? It is not a well-thought process.”However, Indian Cellular Association President Pankaj Mohindroo said that the mobile handset industry is deeply cognisant of the security requirements of the nation. “With the digital economy becoming an important part, this sense of security is of paramount importance.”There can be no argument against the need to have secure communication and protection of data, but we must grasp this issue in its entirety, he said, adding that we should not move towards an ecosystem which can stop innovation in the development of mobile applications.As per the IT Act, Section 43 (A), a company is responsible to make sure that it keeps the data of users safe, and the rules have to be complied with. There’s a provision of unlimited compensation and penalties of Rs 5 crore through state-level arbitrators. Based on the response of the companies, the ministry will initiate verification and audit of devices where required.”Any device sold in the country should be compliant with global security standards. If companies fail to comply, further action will be taken,” the official said.The minister for electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad had called a meeting of senior officials in the department, and representatives of CERT-In and others on August 14 to take stock of the situation.The letter has been sent by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), under the ministry. CERT-In Director General Sanjay Bahl said in the letter, “If we find any shortcomings, we may also conduct an audit to ensure that smartphone companies are in compliance.” In case the companies were found violating India’s data security norms prescribed in the Information Technology Act, they may be subject to a penalty under the Section 43 (A) of the law. Penalty under the section does not have a limit.According to data by the ministry, during 2016-17, India imported mobile phones of nearly $3.74 billion in value. An aggregate of 17.5 crore units were assembled in India during the year with a value of nearly Rs 90,000 crore.”The mobile phones are playing a crucial role in achieving goals of Digital India and have achieved a penetration of 65-70 per cent. These devices hold valuable information of the users and there is a need to ensure security and safety of these devices,” the letter said.”The security of the mobile devices must address all layers including hardware security, operating system and applications security, securing network communications, the encryption standards used. “Updating of operating system, firmware and application must be done in a secure manner,” the letter to the companies said.

Indian handset market records 350 million shipments in 2017

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The mobile handset market has recorded over 350 million shipments this year as against 280 million in 2016, according to an Assocham-KPMG study.Smartphones have gained immense popularity in India in the last four years and constituted 43% of the total handset shipments in 2016, the study said.Robust growth of the handset market coupled with enhanced connectivity of telecom services have been pivotal in the growth of various industries such as retail, manufacturing, IT, e-commerce, stated the study titled ‘Accelerating growth and ease of doing businesses.’Indian handset exports also flourished from 2008 to 2012 and went up to Rs 12,000 crore, but declined almost 30% in the two subsequent years before reversing the downward trend.The downfall of handset manufacturing industry became a major area of concern for the government, said the study.In order to revive the industry, it is imperative to boost handset manufacturing in India. The FTTF, set up in 2014, has a target of increasing count of handsets manufactured in India to 500 million and handset exports to 120 million by 2020.‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’ and other initiatives by the government played a pivotal role in achieving an 85% growth in manufacturing of handsets to Rs 54,000 crore in the year 2015-16 over the previous year. It further grew to Rs 90,000 crore in 2016-17.The industry is of the view that the government may increase the incentive under Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and introduce new incentives such as freight equalisation subsidy and enhance duty draw back to 3% to attract more players in the market.Countries such as Vietnam and China offer significant incentives by way of direct tax holidays which provide a very cost-effective platform for handset manufacturers to set up production facilities. Vietnam provides tax exemptions to players for the first four years of revenue generation and levies only 10% tax for the next 11 years, which may be extended to 26 years on approval of the Vietnamese prime minister.With the primary objective of making the handset manufacturing market favourable for existing players and attracting new players, the government may consider introducing reforms with regard to tax exemptions, favourable rates and incentives.A wider penetration of feature phones and smart phones would facilitate seamless application of upcoming technologies such as 5G, machine-to-machine, Internet of Things (IoT), etc, and also enable the government in achieving targets that it set under the flagship ‘Digital India’ initiative, according to the study.

Zero reimbursement for secretariat staff mobile bills showing net usage

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The babus in Rajasthan Secretariat are a confused lot. While the Central and State governments are promoting ‘go digital’, the state finance department responsible for clearing their cellphone bills says ‘no digital’. What’s more, if their bills contain data usage cost then they stand rejected. The finance department has no provision for making them digitally connected. The matter concerns the officials and staff of the state secretariat, who get a mobile phone allowance, albeit with some restraints and restrictions. As per an order issued by the finance department around 2014, phone bills will now be cleared only when there is no internet date charges included. The accounts section is following orders and has turned down bills that contain internet usage.The staff is surprised at this diktat as internet has become a part of their daily functioning. Most officers have formed WhatsApp groups to communicate with their team. Travel plans and meeting schedules are also communicated through the digital social platform. Still, many government employees are opting for only voice plans to get the phone bills reimbursed. They are not liking it one bit, “Bills that contain internet usage are not getting cleared for last three years. We have been raising the issue at departmental level for a long time and had written about it to the Chief Minister last year. We hope there will be a solution,” said Shivji Ram Jat, the president of the Rajasthan Secretariat Employees Federation.“Many employees are using internet connection on their personal phones as most of the official communication is on mail and social media platforms. On one hand, we are promoting digital functioning while on the other, we have no provisions to use these facilities. This is a new form of functioning and encouraging it at the institutional level will encourage its expansion,” he added. My superior has a habit of dropping messages on WhatsApp, what do I tell him, that I will not respond as my bills do not permit it,” questions an employee who did not wish to be named. It is a paradoxical situation that if I include an internet pack, the bill will not be cleared and if I do not, work gets hampered, he added. “This is absolutely defeating the purpose and intent of Digital India. Rather than cutting out and rejecting bills, a net connection should be made mandatory. Today so many cost effective packs are available and with bulk connection it can be more cost effective. It should be implemented at the earliest,” Jat added,Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spelled out his digital priorities immediately after assuming office. Post demonetisation, digital was further promoted, but in Rajasthan the Secretariat moves in a different direction.FROM GO DIGITAL TO NO DIGITALThe staff is surprised at this diktat as internet has become a part of their daily functioning. Most officers have formed WhatsApp groups to communicate with their team. Travel plans and meeting schedules are also communicated through the digital social platform.

G20 needs to be forthcoming on climate change action: Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked leaders from the G20 nations to be forthcoming on the climate change action as he emphasised the need for cooperation in the world of opposing realities. His remarks at the G20 Summit here assumes significance amid the US deciding to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement last month. While underlining the need for countries to be forthcoming on climate change action, the prime minister said that developing countries must have enough room to grow. Besides, Modi proposed the idea of having an international coalition of countries that can identify technology, develop systems and build capacities, adding that India was ready to lead in this regard. Referring to various initiatives taken by the government, Modi said Skill India, Digital India, financial inclusion are India’s own initiatives in consonance with sustainable development goals (SDGs). Modi was the lead speaker at the second working session on sustainable development, climate change and energy. Earlier in the day, Modi said it was “mandatory” to implement the consensus of the Paris agreement on climate change and asserted that India will implement the accord in “letter and spirit”. On issues of climate change and terror, he said that the role of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is “important”. President Donald Trump recently announced that the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, saying the deal agreed by more than 190 nations unfairly benefited countries like India and China. Trump’s decision drew sharp criticism from international leaders, business groups and green activists.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NDMC launches digital libraries for bookworms

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an attempt to digitise its education system, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on Thursday launched Digital Libraries comprising 68 lakh books which would cater to students from the primary level to PhD level thereby providing a digital platform to bookworms.The libraries, which was launched by Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, would be accessible on the NDMC website and mobile application for free.”With an aim to improve education to move ahead in the digital era, the NDMC has endeavoured to provide digital libraries in its schools using the e-Granthalaya Integrated Library Management Software from National Informatics Centre (NIC), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.”Students can have access to over 68 lakh books on subjects like literature, mythology, science, research papers and academics free of cost,” an NDMC spokesperson said, adding, the council now aims to digitise all its public libraries.While launching the service, Naidu said that the school Library is not only to promote building a knowledge driven community for the future but also to develop a road map for students. He said that books are our best friends because books can provide us company in our bliss and rainy days and added that the step can help in transforming the manner in which information can be accessed.The initiative is part of the Smart Classroom initiative of the NDMC under which the civic agency aims to digitise the education system in the schools of their jurisdictions.NDMC has set up 444 Smart Classes in its 30 schools, with e-learning facilities in Class VI-XII, to raise the standard of education.

U.S. high court to review scope of Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to consider whether corporate insiders who blow the whistle on their employers are shielded from retaliation if they only report alleged misconduct internally rather than to the government’s Securities and Exchange Commission. The justices will hear Digital Realty Trust Inc’s appeal of a lower court ruling in favor of Paul Somers, an executive fired by the San Francisco-based company after he complained internally about alleged misconduct by his supervisor but never reported the matter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The case hinges on the SEC’s whistleblower protection rules required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. The court agreed to take up the case on the last day of a nine-month session. The court will hear the case during the next term that starts in October. The SEC rules, adopted in 2011, prohibit corporate employers from retaliating in any way against whistleblowers who try to report allegations of securities law violations. They also give the SEC the power to offer monetary awards to whistleblowers whose tips lead to successful enforcement actions. Digital Realty Trust argues the anti-retaliation protections do not apply to people who fail to report their allegations to the SEC because the law defines a whistleblower as a person who reports possible securities violations to the SEC. If the Supreme Court ultimately sides with the company, then it would force corporate whistleblowers to report wrongdoing to the SEC in order to be protected from retaliation. Such a result could deter people from reporting misconduct internally first, said Jordan Thomas, a partner at Labaton Sucharow who represents SEC whistleblowers. “I think both corporate whistleblowers and corporations should hope that the Supreme Court finds that internal reporting is sufficient to have the anti-retaliation protections because if not, sophisticated corporate whistleblowers will bypass internal reporting systems and report directly to the SEC,” he said. Digital Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust company, became entangled in the dispute over whistleblower protection after it fired Somers, its former vice president of portfolio management. Somers had complained internally that his supervisor had eliminated some internal controls and hid major cost overruns on a project in Hong Kong. After he was fired, he sued the company in November 2014, saying he was protected from retaliation as a whistleblower under the Dodd-Frank law. The company tried unsuccessfully to quash his claim in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. While the case was on appeal before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a divided 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled in a similar case that people who only report misconduct internally are whistleblowers who merit protection from retaliation. The 9th Circuit later affirmed the California finding, with the SEC also filing a friend of the court brief in the case and participating in oral arguments in support of Somers. Both the 2nd and 9th Circuit opinions are at odds with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which previously held that whistleblowers must report to the SEC in order to receive protective status.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cyber insecurity biggest threat to Indian businesses: Survey

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Information and cyber insecurity has emerged as the biggest threat to business operations in India, followed by terrorism and insurgency, a survey today revealed. The findings were released shortly before a spokesperson for the BJP outlined job creation and capital formation as major challenges before the government. “The biggest challenge for us is how will we create jobs. Now we are facing this problem with technological innovation and robotics coming in, further we will have a difficulty in job creation. “Capital formation is the big challenge the government is now facing. In spite of all the efforts of investment from the government’s side, private investment has not taken place, capital formation is not taking place, that is one challenge which the government has to take care of,” Gopal Krishna Agarwal, National Spokesperson for Economic Issues, BJP, said. He was speaking at the release of Ficci-Pinkerton India Risk Survey 2017, which noted that information and cyber insecurity has become more pronounced due to the shift that India is undergoing towards digitisation of various assets and services being delivered via Internet and mobile platforms, and the ever-present loopholes that hackers breach upon. The risk emanating from terrorism and insurgency rose two spots from last year to rank as the second biggest threat to businesses in India this year, according to the survey. It described the left-wing extremism perpetrated by communist terrorist groups as the most severe terror threat. “The persistent risk posed by terrorism and insurgencies creates a risk perception in the minds of investors with interest in the Indian market. “Although India has invested heavily in its security capability to mount effective counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, the effects of the perception of this risk continue to affect businesses especially with respect to foreign investment,” the survey said. New risks have been identified on the basis of this year’s survey which include risk of non-compliance, business investment risk and legal regulatory risk. Corruption, bribery and corporate frauds rank as the third biggest risk, even though there is a sense of lowering corruption via regulations such as GST, demonetisation, Make in India and the Digital India programme. The India Risk Survey 2017 ranks natural hazards as the fourth highest risk to businesses, up from last year’s seventh position. India is considered at a ‘high risk’ of natural hazards with flooding identified as the most significant risk to businesses and communities in the country. Fire has been ranked fifth, up by three positions from the last the year’s ranking. In contrast to last year’s survey, strikes, closures and unrest dropped six positions to rank seven in the survey. Crime as a risk factor dropped to the eighth position in 2017, from its third ranking in last year’s survey.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ad blitzkrieg, divisive politics sum up BJP’s 3yrs: Gogoi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress alleged today that the Modi government’s talk about development had proved to be hollow and the BJP led dispensation was focussed only on advertisements and polarisation. Addressing a press conference here, Congress MP and spokesperson Gaurav Gogoi also took a dig saying the recent incident when Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal had to scale a tree so that his phone could catch signals showed how effective the ‘Digital India’ campaign had been. “Beyond the slogans, advertising and hyper-rhetoric, the sentiment is gloomy. The so called development exists only on paper,” Gogoi, said at a press conference at the Haryana Congress headquarters here. India’s economic growth has sharply slowed down, primarily due to demonetisation, which was a “scam”, Gogoi claimed. The promised ‘Acche Din’ (good days) have come, but only for a select few as the “suit boot ki sarkar” was pursuing “anti-poor” and “anti-farmer” policies while favouring the rich and the corporates, he said. He said that ‘Digital India’s progress can be gauged from the fact that “one of ministers in the government had to climb a tree to catch mobile signals”. “The BJP government only believes in Vigyapan (advertisement blitzkrieg) and Vibhajan (divisive politics),” Gogoi said, flanked by Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar here. Acche Din have come, but only for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and those industrialists who are close to the ruling party, he alleged. “Today, they are talking about privatising Air India, various PSUs are shutting down….What happened to HMT in Haryana….do they have answers to these?,” he asked. Terming demonetisation a “scam”, he said, “it’s real impact was now slowly being felt. It has dealt a big blow to economy, especially in rural areas. Any government because of which farmers, youth, rural folk and the poor stand to lose, that cannot last long, Gogoi said. “They said demonetisation will deal a blow to black money, but till today, no one knows how much black money was found. If anyone puts an RTI, they do not reply,” he said. Asked about the BJP’s claim that the government is scam-free unlike the previous Congress led regime, Gogoi said, “they brush their scams under the carpet”. “Vyapam scam and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation scam, everyone knows about them and demonetisation scam will emerge in time to come,” he claimed. Asked about the cases against Congress leaders like former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Gogoi said, “we welcome every kind of inquiry, but it should be made time bound”. The BJP government, he said, should not use CBI as a political tool. “What happened in Vyapam scam, Gujarat Petroleum scam, when their own government and Ministers are in dock, they remain silent….who assisted Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya, all these facts should emerge,” Gogoi said. On the country’s economy, he claimed the GDP de- accelerated at 6.1 per cent year-on-year between January 2017 -March 2017. The promised jobs are not being created, he said. “The Index of Industrial Production was growing at 5.3 per cent in February 2016, which has come down to 1.9 per cent in March 2017. Bank credit growth at 5.3 per cent in 2016-17, is the lowest in 63 years,” Gogoi said. “Taking a dig he said ‘ease of doing business’ had become cease of business and there had been an increase in the number of stalled projects, estimated to be worth a whopping Rs 77,000 crore. Falling exports prove that the economy is sluggish,” he said. All the labour reforms which the BJP government wants to bring are anti-labour, Gogoi alleged. On oil prices, he said that “post May 2014, international crude oil prices had come down by more than 55 per cent, but the prices of diesel and petrol had not been reduced. “The government has earned a windfall Rs 233,000 crore by reduction in the crude oil prices, but no one knows where this money has gone?”, he asked. He said the government’s decision to increase fuel prices from June 16, was a “double whammy”. The Congress MP alleged that “tax terrorism” had flourished under the BJP regime, with “unlimited power of search and seizure given to the tax man.” On the housing sector, he said the BJP government had renamed the ‘Rajiv Awas Yojna’ as ‘Housing For All’ promising two crore houses by year 2022. “In three years, the BJP government has completed 1,02,676 houses only. At this pace, it will take 600 years to construct two crore houses. This is a cruel joke,” he said. He said under the government’s ‘Digital India’ scheme, 2,18,000 gram panchayats had to be given internet connectivity. The first phase of Digital India was to cover 1,00,289 Panchayats but after three years, only 16,355 panchayats have been covered. “At this pace, it will take 40 years to meet the objective,” he said. ATTACKS KHATTAR GOVT Hitting out at the Manohar Lal Khattar led BJP government in Haryana, Gogoi said the state had lagged its rule, the investment flow had stopped and the promised international airport had not materialised. He also hit out at over the law and order situation in Haryana, referring to the several incidents during the past one month including gang-rape of a woman from the north-east. “It shows how police and administration are working here,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati eyes putting ‘modernised’ Prasar Bharati back on world’s map

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Shashi Shekhar Vempati, who is set to take charge as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, admitted to a trust deficit over the years which has pulled back the organisation, adding that his mission is to gain that trust in order to become the ?world?s best broadcaster?. Highlighting the importance of a national broadcaster, Vempati said there has to be one place where people can go to with an assertion that they will get the most credible version of news. ?The role of a national broadcaster is very critical in this era where you have a pressing debate over fake news, false narratives. There has to be one place where people of India can go to and know that they will always get the most trustworthy, credible version of what happened,? he said ANI in an exclusive interview. Vempati also opined that just like other national broadcasters, even Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR) have to act as a global voice and become the best in the list of the top broadcasters. ?We are a billion people democracy and this democracy deserves a global voice that reflects the aspirations of our youth. That is a role that a national broadcaster can play. Just like you have BBC, Al Jazeera etc., Doordarshan and AIR have to step up and be that global voice so that the world not only hears about India from us, but also gets our perspective on the global geo-politics,? he said. Vempati, while stressing on the importance of social media in the digital era, admitted that both, Doordarshan and AIR are lagging behind in this term, and that the topmost priority is to transform both in order to let them fit in this digital age. Vempati reiterated that transforming Prasar Bharti into a ?digital Prasar bharti? will be a big priority. ?The overall expectation is how do we bring in a modern, corporate management practices, systems and digitally transform Prasar Bharati in this age, where most media is operating in the digital world. It is very important that both, Doordarshan and AIR transform themselves for the digital age. So, a digital Prasar Bharati is going to be a big priority,? he said. Highlighting their ?vision 2022?, the to-be CEO stated that the project will work towards the making of a new India. ?The utmost priority is to modernise Prasar Bharati. It has to become a 21st century media organisation and it has to function like a modern corporate. So, getting all that changed to modernise Prasar Bharati is the topmost priority. We will work towards a vision 2022 of what role Prasar Bharati can play in the making of new India and that will drive our mission over the next five years,? he said. Explaining his vision further, the to-be CEO said that social media is going to play an important role for Doordarshan and AIR in drawing young audience towards them. ?Social media has become a very critical platform for the people to voice their opinions to the Government on the latest happenings and social media is important for us to understand what our audience wants. Social media plays a very critical role there. Also, we have to draw young audiences to Doordarshan and AIR and social media is going to be very critical in doing that,? he said. Responding to a poser on Prasar Bharati?s role towards spreading word about the Government?s initiatives, Vempati said, ?The first critical role of dissemination is being done by us in a good way. There is a second critical role, that is engagement, involvement of people, listening to them, getting their feedback and creating content that includes their feedback and it establishes a two-way communication. This is very critical for these missions to be successful?. Vempati has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer ( CEO) of Prasar Bharati on the recommendation of the three-member committee headed by Vice President and consisting of Chairman, Press Council of India and the President’s nominee i.e. Secretary, Information and Broadcasting for a period of five years from the date of his assumption of office. Vempati is currently serving as a Member (part time) of the Prasar Bharati Board since February 2016. As a part time member of the Prasar Bharati Board, Vempati has served as Chairman of Audit Committee, Member of Finance and Accounts Committee, Technology Committee, Sports Rights Committee and HR Committee. An alumnus of IIT Bombay, Vempati has over two decades of experience as a Technocrat with specialization in areas of Corporate Management, Technology Consulting and Digital Media. He has worked in Infosys for more than a decade as Product Strategist and Digital Innovator in North America. He currently holds two patents “Real Time Business Event Monitoring, Tracking and Execution Architecture” and “System and method for monitoring and management of inventory of products and assets in real time” under his name. Vempati has authored several books namely “Broadcasting Technologies in India”, “National Digital Security Architecture in India”, “Creating a Global Media Platform out of India” among others.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ISC 12th Results 2017: Check www.cisce.org for ISC class 12th Results 2017 is likely to be declared today at 3 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CICSE will declare the Certificate ISC (Class XII) results today on Monday 29th May, 2017 at 3 PM. The result will be available on the official website ISC Class XII results at 3 PM on official website. The results come on the heels of CBSE Class XII results. This is great news for ISC Class XII students who are waiting with their hearts in their mouths.How to check CISCE ISC (Class XII) Result 2017:1. Visit www.cisce.org for your results.2. Log in to CAREERS portal of the Council website. Students will have to use the Principal’s login ID and password3. Under the ‘Examination System’ click on ISC 2017 for your CISCE examination results.4. Click on ‘Reports’5. Click on ‘Result Tabulation’ to view the school’s result tabulation6. Check ‘Comparison Table’ to View/Print the sameDigilockers for ISC studentsISC students will now be able to have digital versions of their marksheets and certificates for accessing them anytime and anywhere. “Unlike the old practice when the candidates had to download the scanned image of the hard copy of marksheet, all they have to do now is to open an account with ‘http://digilocker.gov.in and give their mobile number and follow the steps thereafter,” Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) Chief Executive and Secretary Gerry Arathoon told PTI.From this year, the council will also make digitally signed copies of the statement of marks and the pass certificates available to candidates via digilocker in addition to the traditional hard copies, Arathoon explained. In addition, digitally signed migration certificates will also be made available to ISC candidates.”The signed documents can be mailed in the same way the hard documents are presented for professional/career reasons. “The documents will be stored in Digital locker (digilocker) of each candidate. Digital Locker is a service that provides dedicated personal electronic space in a government-owned public cloud storage where a candidate keep his/her documents for ever,” he explained.About Indian School Certificate Examination:ISC Class XII Results exams are conducted by the Council for The Indian School Certificate Examination. The council came into existence in December 1967. It was registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. In 1973, the Council was listed in the Delhi School Education Act 1973, as a body conducting “public” examinations.

Check cisce.org ISC Results 2017: CISCE Board Class 12th XII Result 2017 today at 3 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CICSE has declared that the Indian School Certificate ISC (Class XII) results on Monday 29th May, 2017 at 3 PM. In 2016, pass percentage was a stunning 98.54%. In 2017, 1,76,327 students registered for the exam conducted for CISCE Board 10th Class Result 2017. ICSE and ISC candidates will now be able to have digital versions of their marksheets and certificates for accessing them anytime and anywhere. “Unlike the old practice when the candidates had to download the scanned image of the hard copy of marksheet, all they have to do now is to open an account with ‘http://digilocker.gov.in and give their mobile number and follow the steps thereafter,” Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) Chief Executive and Secretary Gerry Arathoon told PTI.How to check CISCE ICSE (Class 10) Result 2017:1. Visit www.cisce.org for your results.2. Log in to CAREERS portal of the Council website. Students will have to use the Principal’s login ID and password3. Under the ‘Examination System’ click on ICSE 2017 for your CISCE examination results.4. Click on ‘Reports’5. Click on ‘Result Tabulation’ to view the school’s result tabulation6. Check ‘Comparison Table’ to View/Print the sameFrom this year, the council will also make digitally signed copies of the statement of marks and the pass certificates available to candidates via digilocker in addition to the traditional hard copies, Arathoon explained. In addition digitally signed migration certificates will also be made available to ISC candidates.”The signed documents can be mailed in the same way the hard documents are presented for professional/career reasons. “The documents will be stored in Digital locker (digilocker) of each candidate. Digital Locker is a service that provides dedicated personal electronic space in a government-owned public cloud storage where a candidate keep his/her documents for ever,” he explained.About Indian School Certificate Examination:ISC Class XII Results exams are conducted by the Council For The Indian School Certificate Examination. The council came into existence in December 1967. It was registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. In 1973, the Council was listed in the Delhi School Education Act 1973, as a body conducting “public” examinations.

Making strides: Technology that will help shape the future of cancer care

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When Tata Trusts and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) officially launched the Digital Never Centre (DiNC) initiative on Sunday, it did not just marry technology with cancer care, but also threw open the possibility of using technology to make the management of other diseases better as well.A team of doctors and paramedics are manning the DiNC headquarter in Trivandrum, where patients from public-run cancer hospitals can call to seek any help, get updates about treatment and seek consultation from the experts. The technology aims to help hospitals streamline patient history and make sense of the database.The technology can be expanded to other hospitals as well as rural health posts, and help connect patients with specialists across the country.Currently four hospitals — Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai; Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata, Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai and Regional Cancer Centre, Trivandrum — are part of the network. TCS is helping the hospitals to store patient data digitally so that doctors have access to patient history.”The system will allow proper documentation and the large database will help us study disease patterns,” said Dr Rajendra Badwe, Director, Tata Memorial Centre (TMC). Around 110 centres across the country have already joined hands to form the National Cancer Grid (NCG) that facilitates the exchange of information and joint research collaboration between hospitals. The technology will also facilitate research and patient referrals across the hospitals connected to the network.”Around 16 programmers worked non-stop for six years to develop software that doctors could use for their clinical needs. Technology can make a huge difference to cancer care as well as the patient experience,” Dr Mammen Chandy, Director, TMC, Kolkata.While patients spend a lot of time and money travelling to far away hospitals for treatment, oncologists too find themselves saddled with administrative work which the DiNC hopes to cut down on.The technology will help convert doctor’s notes to text and taking this using technology to help doctors speak to patients in remote areas via video conferencing is on the anvil.HOW IT WORKSA team of doctors and paramedics are manning the DiNC headquarter in Trivandrum, where patients from public-run cancer hospitals can call to seek any help, get updates about treatment and seek consultation from the experts.
The DiNC can be reached on their toll-free number: 800 419 5522

PM should dissolve Lok Sabha, hold polls simultaneously with

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RJD chief Lalu Prasad today took a jibe at the BJP-led central government saying it should dissolve the current Lok Sabha and hold parliamentary polls simultaneously with the Assembly elections due this year. “The BJP had backed the Niti Aayog’s suggestion of holding Lok Sabha and Assembly elections simultaneously to ensure political stability. Now, the Narendra Modi government should pay heed to it, call for dissolution of the current Lok Sabha and go for fresh polls simultaneously with the Assembly elections due this year,” he said at a press conference here. “You (Modi) will get to know about your strength and popularity,” added Prasad. The RJD chief had called the press meet to make his observations on the Modi government’s performance in the last three years public. Prasad claimed that the BJP would not return to power at the Centre in the 2019 general elections due to its government’s “failure on all fronts”. “The BJP won state elections and by-polls only where the opposition was divided. Wherever we (opposition) forged a unity, the BJP was defeated decisively,” he said. The former Bihar chief minister claimed that the Modi government had done “nothing, except making tall claims and hollow promises” in the last three years. “Only capitalists have benefited during Modi’s tenure so far,” he said. Prasad asked the Centre to explain to the people what happened to its promises of creating one crore jobs for the youth, minimum support price for farmers at the rate of input costs and 50 per cent profit, Digital India, Clean Ganga and its sanitation drive, besides its promise of putting Rs 15 lakh in the bank account of every citizen after the recovery of black money stashed abroad. “BJP president Amit Shah himself had termed his party’s promise to deposit Rs 15 lakh to each citizen’s bank account as a ‘jumla’ (gimmick). My question is, how long will you run the country on jumla,” he said. As regards internal and external security, the RJD chief claimed that the country was “not in safe hands”. He blamed Modi for the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir as the prime minister had gone to Lahore to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in December, 2015. On the upcoming presidential polls, Prasad said he was yet to hold talks with the “like-minded” opposition parties. “(But) we will stand united,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

FreeDish subscribers to get 250 channels for free by next yr

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government will increase the number of free channels in Doordarshan’s direct-to-home (DTH) platform — FreeDish — from nearly 90 to 250 by next year, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said today. The Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting said the government will also introduce some new channels, including one for children. “We are increasing the number of channels from present 89 to 250 by 2018 in the ‘FreeDish’. We are also introducing some new channels like ‘DD Kids’,” Rathore said while addressing the closing ceremony of the two-day seminar on ‘Digital Broadcasting in India Way Forward’ here. FreeDish subscribers do not have to pay a monthly or a periodic fee for watching the channels but they need to purchase the set-top-box. The service was launched in December, 2004 with 33 channels. At present, the platform has 89 free-to-air channels and 32 radio channels.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kashmiri youth must shun violence, grab opportunities, says Kashmiri media owner

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A young Kashmiri media owner, who runs a mobile TV channel in the Valley, has denounced the stone-pelting by youth and has asked them to utilise their potential to ensure the social and economic progress of the state. Srinagar-based Tariq Bhat said, ?Our scholars have called it (stone-pelting) as `un-Islamic?. If you are doing stone pelting, especially the girls, this is un-Islamic. Secondly, we are destroying our image by engaging in such activities. Now, the whole scenario in the world has changed. Wherever there is gun culture, stone pelting or violence, it is being neglected by the world. Kashmir?s image nowadays is not good?. Bhat launched ANN (Asian News Network), an android-based television channel in 2016 with an aim to make the people aware about Kashmir?s rich culture, art and promote peace and harmony. His innovation is said to be a part of Kashmiri youth towards the Digital India project by digitising the media and developing an android TV application. He said, ?When Prime Minister Modi made an announcement that he wants to see Andriod phones in the hands of youth, I got the idea of mobile television.? ?In many countries like Norway, the offline media is closing down. There, everything is getting online. The future, I have read articles and I have researched while staying in various cities and countries, and I have seen that youth in all those countries have so many creative ideas. I gained ideas from there, but implemented it after listening to the Prime Minister,? added Bhat. Tariq feels the Kashmir Valley, which is caged in by separatist-sponsored unrest, is heading towards devastation as the state?s economy is in turmoil because of violence. Tourism, handicrafts and other private businesses are hit badly and many have started migrating to other states and abroad. He said, ?If Kashmiris feel that stone pelting will benefit them, it is not possible.? ?Our economy is reaching at zero. You survive with private businesses and if it gets affected by strikes, everyday you are losing in crores. Who is getting affected? It is the stone pelter who is getting affected because it is his family member or a friend whose business is getting affected. If a stone pelter fails to get a meal at night, he will engage in other crimes?, said Tariq. Bhat, who runs a news portal and online radio, has generated employment for many in the Valley. He said that it was his wish that the talented youth of Kashmir utilise their potential for the betterment of their state, especially in areas such as tourism, silk textiles and other sectors.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Land records in Himachal Pradesh to be only a click away

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The computerisation of land records in Himachal Pradesh has come up as a big relief to the state residents as updated revenue records are available online. The implementation of Digital India Land Records Modernisation Programme (DILRMP) in the state is aimed at ushering in a system of updated land records. The programme is also aimed at automated and automatic mutation, integration between textual and spatial records, inter-connectivity between revenue and registration, an official spokesman here said. The computerisation of land records of Mandi, Hamirpur and Sirmour districts were taken up as the unit for implementation of the programme on pilot basis in the year 2008-2009 and the project proposal of Rs 1319.57 lakh (Rs 718.33 lakh as Centre share and Rs 601.24 lakh State share) were sanctioned for these districts.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Captain Amarinder meets PM Modi, seeks his support to sell surplus power to Pakistan or Nepal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought his support in allowing the state to sell its surplus power to Pakistan or Nepal.The Chief Minister also demanded a package for farmers, especially those living along the international border, and concessions for the industry on the lines of those granted to hill states like Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.During the meeting with the PM that lasted around an hour, Amarinder expressed concern over problems faced by farmers living in border areas and called for an increase in central compensation to them to ensure effective and stronger border management. The Chief Minister also sought Modi’s intervention to prevent the possible revival of package of concessions to neighbouring states as he felt it would negate Punjab’s efforts to bring in investment and create jobs in a bid to revive the state’s economy.Pointing to the 1000 MW surplus power in Punjab after meeting internal demands, the Chief Minister noted that the sale of power to neighbouring Pakistan or Nepal would help the state’s coffers, his media adviser Raveen Thukral said.He said Amarinder apprised the prime minister that Punjab’s Goindwal Sahib thermal power plant is situated close to the international border and it would not be difficult to supply power to Pakistan.He also said Punjab would be happy to supply electricity to Nepal, which intends to meet its power shortfall by purchasing it from India, if the Government of India agreed, and sought the prime minister’s support.”Had a very cordial meeting with Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, discussed many issues of Punjab’s interest,” Amarinder tweeted after the meeting with the PM.Amarinder later met Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who invited Punjab to be a part of Digital India revolution of the Narendra Modi government.Prasad suggested that Punjab government should pitch for central government funded and aided projects in the field of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and electronic manufacturing to fast-track its growth.The possibility of setting up a BPO centre in Patiala, the chief minister’s constituency, was discussed during the meeting.Amarinder also met Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and discussed with him the new initiatives being undertaken by the Congress government in Punjab.This is Amarinder’s first meeting after taking over as chief minister of Punjab. Rahul Gandhi had attended Amarinder’s swearing-in in Chandigarh last month.

WR raises height of 56 platforms for passenger safety

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Western Railway has raised the height of 56 platforms across 28 stations on the suburban local network here as part of its ongoing efforts to increase passenger safety during train travel. There are total of 144 platforms, whose height will be raised up to 920 mm from the current 840 mm for safety of passengers. Of these, height of 56 platforms at 28 stations was raised in the last fiscal, a senior official said today. Raising the height of platforms will help commuters alighting and boarding the suburban trains, he said, adding the remaining work of increasing the height of 88 platforms will be completed very soon. Meanwhile, WR recently celebrated 164th anniversary of the first train which ran between Bori Bunder and Thane on April 16, 1853. Highlights its achievements during the last fiscal on the occasion, WR Chief PRO Ravindra Bhakar said commissioning of new railway station ‘Ram Mandir’, building 10 Foot-Over-Bridges, 26 escalators and two lifts at different stations were some of the works undertaken by us. Also, under the Digital India Mission, free Wi-Fi for passengers was started at Mumbai Central station last year in partnership with Google for the first time in the country, he said. Such a facility has been in place at Churchgate, Dadar, Bandra, Khar Road, Bandra Terminus, Andheri, Borivali, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot and Ujjain stations. To provide a pleasant travel experience, 67 trains were covered under “On Board House Keeping Services” and 33 more are going to be covered shortly, said the officer. “36 stations were provided with retiring rooms. Of these, 16 stations are equipped with both retiring room and dormitory facilities,” Bhakar said. “We care for our special and differently-abled commuters and have provided low height booking windows, toilets for specially-abled, ramps, platform tiles and audio visual signages (beepers) for visually challenged passengers,” he added. WR also said it is committed to implement the schemes launched by the Centre.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BHIM-Aadhaar Pay app will boost honesty in income tax payment:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BHIM-Aadhaar Pay mobile application launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will boost “transparency and honesty” in payment of income tax in the country, Union Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here today. “The essence and the idea behind the Prime Minister’s ‘Digital India’ initiative is that if we send Rs 100 from Delhi, then it must fully reach to the poor beneficiary. That is the reason some 28 crore bank accounts have been opened for the poor in the last two years,” said Prasad. He was addressing a programme to mark the culmination of “Digi Dhan Mela” organised by the NITI Aayog at the divisional sports stadium located in Mankapur area. Apart from Modi, Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Hansraj Ahir, Ramdas Athawle, and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were present on the dais. Modi today paid tribute to B R Ambedkar at Deekshabhoomi here, where the Dalit icon had embraced Buddhism, to mark his 126th birth anniversary. He launched BHIM-Aadhaar mobile application, a biometric-based payment system which will make payment through thumb impression a reality. Prasad said, “as many as 113 crore Aadhaar cards, 108 crore mobile phones, 50 crore internet users, 35 crore smart phones have been connected under ‘Digital India’.” He said that 72 mobile manufacturing companies have entered India since Modi government assumed power. “The whlole world is discussing about the Aadhaar initiative of India,” he said. The minister said that the launch of the “BHIM-Aadhaar Pay” app will boost transparency and honesty in payment of income tax. “It will also help in making the Indian Army as well as Indian roads the strongest in the world,” he said. On the occasion, Prasad announced a 20,000 square metre “Incubation centre” in Nagpur for making it “new IT centre of the country.” Addressing the gathering, Union Highways Minsiter Nitin Gadkari termed the Digital India initiative “a very big and progressive thinking to fulfill the dreams of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.” “‘Digital India’ will provide economic and social justice to the poor and farmers. The Digital India initiative will have a lot of positive impact on various sectors in the country,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BHIM-Aadhaar payment app will boost digital payments revolution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched the BHIM-Aadhaar digital payments platform to boost the digital payments revolution in the country. Prime Minister Modi said, ?The Bhim app will give more power to the poor. Soon the poor of the country will chant Digidhan, Nijidhan. Your mobile phone will be your bank.” The Prime Minister further said that the world will study BHIM app’s success. BHIM-Aadhaar, the merchant interface of the BHIM App will pave the way for digital payments by using the Aadhaar platform enabling each Indian to pay digitally using their biometric data on a merchant`s biometric-enabled device like a SmartPhone with a biometric reader. Prime Minister Modi launched two new incentive schemes for the BHIM-Cashback and Referral Bonus with an outlay of Rs. 495 crore for a six-month period to ensure permeating digital payments culture to the grassroots. Under the Referral Bonus Scheme, both the existing user who refers BHIM and the new user who adopts it would get a cash bonus credited directly to their accounts. Per referral, the government will deposit Rs. 10 to the account holder. The scheme will run till October 14. Under the Cash back scheme, the merchants will get a cash back on every transaction using BHIM. Prime Minister Modi also felicitated some of the winners of the Mega Draw. Joining the culmination of the DigiDhan Mela, Prime Minister Modi presented awards to the mega draw winners of Lucky Grahak Yojna and DigiDhan Vyapar Yojna. Rs. one crore, 50 lakh and 25 lakh mega rewards were announced to small consumers for using Digital Payments Lucky Grahak Yojana. Daughter of small Kiran store owner from Latur District in Maharashtra, Shraddha received Rs. one crore Mega reward by Prime Minister Modi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Follow Ambedkar’s example to fight for social justice: UN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A top UN official has urged nations to follow the example of social reformer and Dalit icon Baba Saheb Ambedkar in the fight for social justice and equality, calling them to harness the power of digital technologies for social and financial inclusion. “It is fitting that we honour his (Baba Saheb Ambedkar s) legacy of fighting against social discrimination by talking today about how to use digital technologies to promote empowerment and inclusion for all people not least, women,” Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said at a special event organised here by India’s Permanent Mission to the UN to mark Ambedkar’s 126th birth anniversary. She said nations live in an era of rapid and momentous change driven in large part by advances in information and communications technologies, which have the power to help us achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals. In this spirit, she called on nations to harness the power of digital technologies for social and financial inclusion and the advancement of societies everywhere. “I am sure Baba Saheb Ambedkar, who stood for the rights of women, minorities, and the underprivileged, would welcome these efforts. Let us follow his example and fight for social justice and equality by fulfilling the promise of the 2030 Agenda. Let us mobilise the best minds in the world of technology to invent more ways to improve people s lives, and ensure that no one is left behind,” she said yesterday. Mohammed said the introduction of digital identity can provide a breakthrough, citing the example of the biometric identity cards in India, Aadhaar. Digital identity would help to provide better and more inclusive access to public services and finance, including for the poorest and most vulnerable, she said adding that the use of biometric identity cards in India for over one billion people is a “great example”. She noted that currently, more than half the world’s population — some 3.9 billion people lack access to the Internet and in the Least Developed Countries, the number is as high as 85 per cent.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DNA Morning Must Reads: From updates on Kulbhushan Jadhav row to BJP youth leader offering reward to behead Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kulbhushan Jadhav’s execution | Put international pressure on Pakistan, urge expertsExperts in India have stated that Delhi needs to use diplomatic leverage in world capitals to exert pressure on Islamabad. Read more hereKejriwal vs Kejriwal: Delhi govt sends CM a bill for Rs 97 croreAAP faces a major setback as the notice comes just ahead of the civic body elections in Delhi. Read more hereMeghalaya government opposes observing Digital India Day on Good FridayMeghalaya government has expressed its strong opposition against the Centre’s decision to observe Digital India Day on April 14, which is Good Friday and widely observed by the Christians here. Read more hereWatch: Bengal BJP youth leader offers reward of Rs 11 lakh for beheading Mamata BanerjeeA Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leader courted massive controversy by announced a reward of Rs 11 lakh for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s head, following a lathicharge at Birbhum district to disperse a rally raising slogans of “Jai Sri Ram” on Hanuman Jayanti. Read more hereInside the Battle for Mosul: Daesh’s last stand?In the liberated parts of Mosul, the residents and refugees are picking up the pieces of their shattered lives. Read More here

Meghalaya not to observe Digital India Day: Mukul Sangma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meghalaya government has expressed its strong opposition against the Centre’s decision to observe Digital India Day on April 14, which is Good Friday and widely observed by the Christians here. Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said the state government has said it will not participate in such programmes which aim at diluting the secular fabric of the nation. “I will write to the Prime Minister as it is necessary for me to express concern on behalf of the people with special reference to the North East, which have a major chunk of Christian community,” he said. He said the state government has officially intimated the Union Cabinet Secretary in this regard. Lambasting at the Centre’s decision, Mukul said “We have to be candid in asking what is their agenda. The identification of dates observing Good Governance Day on Christmas and now Digital India Day on Good Friday are they (BJP-led NDA) trying to marginalise the minority?” “BJP is creating a perception in the North East that everything is good with their style of functioning and the people of NE should accept them. This testimony is not based on facts. “Congress will provide a more stable government in Meghalaya, capable of turning round the whole socio-economic landscape of the state,” he said expressing confidence that the ruling Congress will return to power after the state Assembly elections in 2018.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

It’s no-Plan period for Centre, states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the curtains on Nehruvian-era five-year plans came down on March 31, Niti Aayog’s three-year action plan — slated to be launched on April 1 — is yet to come into being.According to sources, the government think tank is ready with the draft three-year action plan, but is yet to present it for clearance from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).”The entire consultation process with all ministries and sectors concerned are over. However, the PMO nod is awaited before it being adopted by the states and other authorities,” an official said, declining to give a probable date for its initiation.Effectively, that means the country would be in between plans till the three-year action plan comes in to force.The finance ministry had recently extended the time period for schemes under 12th Plan by another six months, so as to help ministries complete their appraisals/approvals. The government, however, has stopped taking into account the 12th Five Year Plan for preparing the annual budget for the next fiscal.The three-year action plan will also take into consideration the impact of demonetization on the country’s economy. Sources said the plan will not project the revenue for the next fiscal. Under the new plan, states are likely lose out on Central funds if they fail to meet targets on schemes with designated time frame.Senior officials told DNA that even the 12th Five Year Plan did not have a proper implementation plan. “Several flagship government programmes such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Digital India were not part of the 12th Plan and do not have a specific tenure plan or financing plan,” a senior official pointed out.WHAT IT AIMS ATNiti Aayog to end the prevailing system of the Centre patiently waiting for the state governments to implement the schemes with its laws.
Under the new system, sources said states will be encouraged to meet the targets of various schemes.
Achieving the targets will bring incentives and if unable to do so, the states will have to face the prospects of drying up of fund flows.
Niti Aayog also entrusted to work on a 15-year Vision Document and a seven-year strategy to guide the government’s development plans till 2030.
It is also preparing a fresh cabinet note recommending closure of seven more sick CPSEs as part of an exercise to tackle mounting losses incurred by these entities.

NEC contributes to INTERPOL’s DSC training for cybercrime

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> NEC Corporation has announced its contribution to INTERPOL’s Digital Security Challenge (DSC) cybercrime investigation training held at the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore. This DSC was conducted by INTERPOL from March 14 to March 17 in order for police to increase their cybercrime investigation capabilities. Participants in the four-day session included cybercrime investigation officers from the police forces of INTERPOL member countries and experts in digital forensics. Participants in this training aimed to identify a criminal based on a fictitious cybercrime through analysis of digital evidence. In addition, private companies sponsoring this event introduced technologies available for cybercrime investigation. In cooperation with a subsidiary company, Cyber Defense Institute, NEC’s support for the INTERPOL training based on a fictional cybercrime scenario, included the provision of information for analysis and the provision of an analysis environment for the investigation. Moreover, NEC delivered a lecture and conducted hands-on training about cutting-edge face recognition technology. By applying face recognition technology to cybercrime investigations, NEC showed how analysis of footage from a surveillance camera can be analyzed for the number of suspects to be narrowed down in a short amount of time. “We are proud to have contributed to this DSC as a strategic INTERPOL partner,” said Masakazu Yamashina, Senior Vice President, NEC Corporation. “NEC began cooperating with INTERPOL in cybersecurity measures in 2012, and we are conducting a variety of activities to confront the cyberattacks that are becoming increasingly complicated and sophisticated. We look forward to continuing our support for INTERPOL training of police and contributing to the achievement of strong global security,” he added. NEC Corporation is a Japanese multinational provider of information technology (IT) services and products, headquartered in Tokyo. The NEC Group globally provides “Solutions for Society” that promote the safety, security, efficiency and equality of society. Under the company’s corporate message of “Orchestrating a brighter world,” NEC aims to help solve a wide range of challenging issues and to create new social value for the changing world of tomorrow.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

MP government pays Rs 16.94 crore as rent for PoS machines

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Madhya Pradesh Government has paid an amount of Rs 16.94-crore as rent for the point-of-sale (PoS) machines hired for public distribution system (PDS) shops. In a written reply in the state assembly today, the Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Om Prakash Dhurve informed that the state government has installed PoS machines at all 22,403 PDS shops across the state. “State government has paid an amount of Rs 16,94,06,604 as rent of the PoS machines till September, 2016. “These machines were hired from the service providers of Madhya Pradesh State Electronic Development Corporation,” Dhurve stated in a written reply to a question asked by Congress MLA Jaivardhan Singh. The Congress MLA had sought a reply from the state government that whether the PoS machines, being used at the PDS shops, were hired or purchased and amount spent on this work. The minister informed that PoS machines were hired from two companies DSK Digital Technologies Private Limited and Link Well Tele Systems Private Limited. “The rate of DSK Digital Technologies Private Limited is Rs 1,191 per PoS machine per month, while that of Link Well Tele Systems Private Limited is Rs 1,245 per machine per month,” Dhurve stated.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Adobe Unveils World’s First Open, Cloud-Based Digital

Adobe Unveils World’s First Open, Cloud-Based Digital

Wed, 1 Mar 2017-07:08pm , PTI

editors: The following press release comes to you under an arrangement with PRNewswire. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Signatures (Attn.editors: The following press release comes to you under an arrangement with PRNewswire.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

From ISRO to ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ Top 10 quotes from PM Modi’s 29th Mann Ki Baat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his 29th edition of Mann Ki Baat today, touched on a range of issues from India?s historic launch of a record 104 satellites on a single rocket to the Indian team?s incredible victory in the Blind T20 Cricket World Cup. Here are the highlights from the Prime Minister?s address: – After the successful mission of sending Mangalyaan to Mars, recently ISRO achieved a world record in the arena of space: PM Modi – This cost effective, efficient space programme of ISRO has become a marvel for the entire world: PM Modi – India has successfully tested Ballistic Interceptor Missile; This is a cutting edge technology in the arena of security: PM – A lot of emphasis is being laid on DigiDhan. People are moving towards digital currency. Digital transactions are rising: PM Modi – Remembering Dr Ambedkar, one teaches at least 125 persons about downloading BHIM App and procedure of making transactions through it: PM Modi – Hard work of farmers has resulted in a record production of more than 2,700 lakh tonnes food grains: PM Modi – The nation welcomes the incredible feat achieved by our divyang athletes in the Rio Paralympics: PM Modi – Congrats to women players who won silver at Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy and the Indian team for winning Blind T-20 World Cup: PM Modi – ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao? movement is moving forward with rapid strides. It has now become a campaign of public education: PM Modi – Human mind is continuously unravelling the secrets of universe: PM Modi(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maharashtra: 11,000 gram panchayats connected digitally through BharatNet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Soon, electricity poles will not just bring power to villages, but also connect them digitally.Maharashtra government has come up with an initiative, wherein electric poles will be used to provide internet connectivity to remote villages in the state to bridge the digital divide.Under this plan, 27920 gram panchayats in the state will be connected with optical fibre cable (OFC) of the capacity 100 MBPS by 2018-end. The project undertaken under Bharat Net initiative of the Digital India program, will connect schools, hospitals and veterinary centres, ensuring a major thrust for electronic access to these services.“Earlier, this fibre had to be taken to these villages only through the underground route. However, considering geographical problems it would be difficult to do so through rivers and mountains. Hence, we decided to usepoles of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MahaVitaran) for hybrid, last-mile connectivity,” Vijay Kumar Gautam, principal secretary of the state Information Technology (IT) department told DNA.Maharashtra has around 1.80 crore electricity poles and the IT department has started geo-tagging them. “The Government of India has revised guidelines for the second phase and adopted a liberal format… now, we will use all methods including underground, overhead and satellite to provide connectivity,” said Gautam, adding that costs were also expected to come down to Rs 4,200 crore due to a change in these rules.Gautam said around 11,000 gram panchayats were covered already, and they intend to connect 14,500 village councils by May-end.He added that the Centre wanted the project to be executed in a “linear topology” mode where the connectivity is provided in a sequential chain. Though the technology is cheaper to implement, in case the cable is snapped at one point, connectivity to other gram panchayats would also be affected.Gautam said that hence the project would be executed in “mesh-ring topology” to make it self-sustaining for projects like e-health and e-education. “The costs are around 15 to 20% higher, but the network is reliable and will allow sustainable communication… the state government will bear this extra cost,” said Gautam, adding that this would allow the state government to monetise the network by allowing the setup of rural BPOs and supply chain management.Nagpur has become the first digital district in India with all 776 gram panchayats being connected via fibre.About Bharat Net Initiative:The Bharat Net initiative of Digital India program aims at connecting all gram panchayats in the country to a high speed digital highway using optical fibre, making it one of the largest rural broadband connectivity projects.The connectivity will also allow villagers to access government to citizen (G2C) services, e-health, e-education and e-agriculture facilities and allow youth to upgrade their skills using this broadband highway.The network can be used for creation of last mile delivery agents for e-commerce portals, rural BPOs, warehouses and supply chain management systems by private players. This will allow heavy capex sectors to come to villages.

Manish Sisodia files RTI seeking info on PM Modi’s pet projects

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Facing investigation into alleged irregularities in social media campaign of ‘Talk to AK’, the Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia filed an RTI application with Prime Minister Office’s informational cell seeking information related to social media campaigns like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’.The Central Bureau of Investigation had registered a case against Sisodia and other government officers under the Prevention of Corruption Act in ‘Talk to AK’ social media campaign scam last month. The agency is trying to establish 11 violations and irregularities made during awarding the contract to a private company — Perfect Relations.When Sisodia filed RTI, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sitting in Bengaluru tweeted, “Manish awarded contracts like the PMO did for digital campaign. Modi ji, if you’re getting Manish probed by the CBI, a CBI investigation should also be ordered into this issue.” (sic)Sisodia reached Rail Bhavan around 12 pm and filed the application on Friday. The Deputy Chief Minister said, “I want to know what process Centre govt follows in advertising its campaigns like ‘Make in India’, ‘Narendra Modi App’, ‘Start Up India’ and ‘Digital India’. Whose credit limit has been used in putting up these advertisements? Because, when we connect with people it is dubbed corruption but when Modiji does Mann Ki Baat it’s projected as patriotism.”Asked whether he was hopeful of getting any response, Sisodia claimed that “everyone is aware” why information on Modi’s higher education degrees has not been shared yet.Sisodia had earlier written to the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra seeking details of the process of payments made for social media campaigns for various Centre-run schemes.Through the RTI, he also sought information on action taken on his letter addressed to Misra and copies of file noting, correspondence and other documents relating to the handling of the letter dated January 27.Interestingly, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ministers have started attacking Central Government, after they have returned from recently concluded Punjab and Goa Assembly elections.

Extensive public participation in First Digi Dhan Mela in Srinagar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The first Digi Dhan Mela, a Government of India initiative aimed at boosting digitally enabled transformation in the country following demonetization was held at Indoor Stadium Srinagar. The Mela was inaugurated by Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir Baseer Khan, who said, ?Currently, the main emphasis in country is for cashless economy. One can do transactions easily all over the world for business and personal use. The main aim is to educate people about account opening and to inherit habit of cashless economy.? Khan also praised the administration for inviting all the banks in the Mela to make people aware and understand about cashless economy. Calling this event a march towards cashless economy with multiple benefits to its users, the Divisional Commissioner further asked people from all walks of life to step in at the venue for Aadhar or Ration Card corrections and various training being offered for cashless transfers. At the event, huge public participation was seen thronging different stalls put up by various banks, telecom companies, Aadhar and different departments of the State Government to gather first hand information about various Digital Schemes of the Government of India. Participants hailed this step taken by State Government and also expressed hope that in the coming days more programmes on cashless society will be held in different parts of the Kashmir Valley, as it was first such event in Kashmir since demonetization.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Oppn’s attacks indicate that PM is becoming more popular: Hema

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Actor and Mathura MP Hema Malini today hit out at opposition parties over their attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying it only indicates he is becoming more popular as they are all joining hands to target him. “He is becoming more and more popular among the people, poor, farmers and everybody else. They do not know how to attack. They are joining hands to attack (the PM),” she told reporters outside Parliament. She was asked about the remarks of Samajwadi Party leader and Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan who yesterday compared Modi to the mythical demon king Ravana. Without taking Modi’s name, Khan during an election rally had said, “The king who rules over 130 crore Indians goes to Lucknow to burn the effigy of Ravana but he forgets that the biggest Ravana is not in Lucknow but lives in Delhi.” Asked how she sees this sloganeering versus sloganeering, she said, “All these things happen”. On BJP raking the Ram temple issue even after Modi had said that the UP elections would be fought on the development agenda, Hema Malini said one should not look only at the temple issue but also focus on other developmental aspects like Digital India. “You should not take only Ram temple issue only. There are so many other issues. So much development is taking place in the entire country, one should see that. Especially Digital India and others, all these one should appreciate instead of continuously critisising a person who is doing such good work. He has made such a big name for our country,” she said. When asked about her party’s prospects in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in Mathura, she said, “We will definitely win Mathura.” On Mulayam Singh Yadav’s remarks that there were no differences between him and Akhilesh Yadav, and that the SP patriarch would start campaigning from tomorrow, the BJP MP said during elections every party will say good things about their party. “These things will happen during elections. Every party will say good things about themselves. Everybody is coming together to attack our Prime Minister. I’m sure, he (PM) is doing very well. People are very happy with whatever is happening from our (BJP’s) side,” she said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cong slams PM Modi’s opposition-attacking mentality, habit of using ‘big’ words

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Dubbing Prime Minister Narendra Modi?s vigorous campaign for the upcoming assembly polls in five states of the country as ‘lowering the dignity of his office’, the Congress called him out for his knack of using ‘big’ and ‘flashy’ words to woo the voters, but not reflecting the same in the work done for the people. Congress leader Anand Sharma also advised PM Modi to learn to take criticism. “PM Modi has continuously been bringing down the level of a proper political discourse. We assumed once he takes the office as the Prime Minister, he would understand the great responsibility which comes with the chair and he would put an end to such rhetoric. But his mentality has always been of humiliating the opposition, which is not in favour of democracy. He is lowering the dignity of his office. He should learn to take criticism too,? Sharma told ANI. “It is his habit of giving various flashy acronyms like the Digital India, Start up India, Make in India, etc. But his work doesn’t reflect any such fanciness. He only tries to trap people in his big mesh of words, keeping them far away from reality,? he added. Asserting that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) only agenda is development, PM Modi, at a rally in Aligarh a day before, had introduced the concept of VIKAS wherein V stood for – Vidyut (electricity), K – Kaanoon (law and order), and S – Sadak (roads). He said, “We are working day and night to ensure that every corner of India has electricity. We are making good progress. I am confident that electricity will reach every factory and household very soon. We are very close to achieving this. In fact we are working towards Uttar Pradesh’s Vikas.” Sharma also held PM Modi for the negativity that has seeped into the Indian political system. ?History bears testimony to the relentless service of the Congress towards the nation. Similarly, the Samajwadi Party is a political party that has served Uttar Pradesh for so many years. Elections should be fought on policies, schemes and plans and nothing else. This is why such negativity has seeped into the domain of political discourse and PM Modi is very much responsible for the scenario,? he said. ?It?s been over three years since he has taken the office, he should talk about the works his government has done. And he should own up to the umpteen number of promises he made but didn’t fulfil. He apologise to people,” he added. The Prime Minister had, while addressing a rally in Meerut a few days back, attacked the BJP’s opposing parties in Uttar Pradesh and said that the state will not show any progress unless it is free from corruption, which can be achieved only if the ?SCAM? (S-Samajwadi Party, C-Congress, A-AkhileshYadav, M-Mayawati) is removed from power, adding that UP has the potential to be India?s most prosperous state. ?The ruling Government in Uttar Pradesh is one that needs to be removed from power immediately, because they are a Government that collectively supports rogues and goons. There is no value for anybody?s life in this state. One has no guarantee that he or she will return home alive after stepping out of his/her home. This state has made me what I am and I will not rest until this government is replaced,? he said. Uttar Pradesh will be voting for a new state assembly in a seven-phase election between February 11 and March 8. Out of the 403 assembly seats, the Congress will be contesting in 105 seats and the Samajwadi Party will field its candidates in rest of the 298 seats.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Government promotes expensive digital radio for public, private broadcasters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Junking the recommendations of an IIT-Bombay report which had given a thumbs down to digital radio mondiale (DRM) — an expensive digital radio technology pegged as a replacement for Soviet-era worn-out short and medium wave transmitters —the government seems to be promoting the technology for the country’s public and private radio broadcasters.The technical audit of All India Radio’s short and medium wave services was commissioned to IIT-Bombay by AIR’s parent body Prasar Bharati.On Tuesday, at the Digital Radio for All Round Table Conference organised by DRM along with Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), Information and Broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu urged public as well as private FM broadcasters to go digital in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a Digital India.He also said that AIR has reinvented itself through its digital transmitters based on the DRM and said AIR has already completed the technical installation and upgradation of 37 powerful transmitters in the first phase of digitisation of radio broadcast. He added that it was an opportune moment for automotive manufacturers and retailers to incorporate digital radio systems in vehicles.However, the IIT-B report has stated DRM receivers are too expensive and had suggested installing a larger number of FM transmitters to cover the entire country, given that FM is a cheaper option and easily accessed by the masses on their mobile phones.On the other hand, to access radio through DRM, a listener will have to buy a receiver set, which can cost up to Rs15,000.Even private radio operators, off record, confessed that they are not keen on going for DRM, since it is more expensive than FM and few people in the country are aware of the technology.Prasar Bharati officials informed that while the government is equating digital radio with the DRM technology in a bid to promote it, digital radio also includes other inexpensive digital radio technologies like DAB (digital audio broadcast) and digital technologies for short and medium wave transmitters, which are popular in China.An official statement from the government stated that digital transmission would provide Crystal clear and better-than- FM sound quality, enhanced program choice, free access to textual news, sports, travel and weather information, among others.”The DRM broadcasting system is specifically designed to allow the new digital transmission to co-exist with the current analogue broadcasts,” the statement read.

Govt improving connectivity of ‘Ashtalakshmi’ North-East: Prez

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dubbing north-eastern states as ‘Ashtalakshmi’ that can take India to new heights, President Pranab Mukherjee today said the government is focussing on reducing isolation of the eastern region and the North-East by improving connectivity. Addressing the joint sitting of Parliament, Mukherjee said India is opening up road and rail routes to neighbouring countries in South-East Asia to boost economic development of the region. “My government sees the north-eastern states as Ashtalakshmi that can take India to new heights. The North-East is the gateway to South-East Asia. We are opening up road and rail routes to our neighbouring countries to boost the economic development of the region,” the President said. Reiterating that balanced and equitable development of all the regions is vital to India’s progress, he said: “Under its proactive ‘Act East’ policy, my government is focussing on reducing the isolation of the eastern region and the North-East by improving connectivity through road, rail, air, telecom, power and waterways.” Spelling out steps taken by the government to “ensure unhindered support and development of the states” of the region, Mukherjee said: “My government is continuing with the special dispensation in the assistance pattern to the north-eastern states and is providing assistance in the ratio of 90:10 for core central schemes and 80:20 for the non-core schemes to these states.” He further said that by the end of the year, all the metre gauge rail tracks of the region will be converted into broad guage and the Railways has undertaken a major expansion in the region at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore. “Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have been put on the rail map, Agartala in Tripura has been connected with broad-guage line,” he added. Paying special attention to the region’s natural landscape, Mukherjee said: “The beauty and diversity of the North-East makes it a natural hub for tourism. The Ministry of Tourism has identified a thematic circuit for the North-East.” Highlighting various steps taken by the government to uplift the region, he said the North-East BPO promotion scheme in the Digital India programme for creation of employment opportunities has already been approved. Additionally, he said: “The Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited and Numaligarh Refinery Limited wax unit are big projects that will create huge employment opportunities in the North-East.” Mukherjee also said the government has provided special financial assistance to mitigate the damage caused by the unprecedented floods in the hilly and other areas of the country. On the security situation in north-eastern states, he said it has “also shown significant improvement” while overall in India, “there has been considerable success in containing Left wing extremism over the last three years, with the surrender of over 2,600 extremists”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Note ban gives wings to artisans’ online ventures

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The discovery of e-commerce portals last year came as a boon to Himanshu. The 29-year-old’s family had been making door mats and wall hangings for the last three generations. But he was the first to break ties with the ancient practice of going door to door for selling rugs and to establish an online platform for his products. The joy, however, seemed short-lived when the demonetization drive was announced just a few months later. Sales dropped significantly as many portals stopped the Cash On Delivery service. But lurking around the dark cloud was a silver lining. Soon, as people became more familiar with cashless modes of payment, Himanshu’s business started soaring like never before. “My products are available online and the portal makes payments on a regular basis. The portal has helped me reach out to more customers and increase my earnings,” he said.Like Himanshu, for hundreds of local artisans and weavers living on the outskirts of the city, the demonetization drive came as an opportunity disguised as a setback. The e-commerce portals even removed the scourge of middlemen, who used to eat into the earnings of artisans and weavers. Chandan, 27, a resident of Seelampur, learned the art of weaving bags and purses in a factory where he was employed. His middleman Pranay, who owns online store RCI Handicrafts, introduced him to the world of technology, helping him promote his product. “In the intial days after demonetization, online store TrendyBharat closed the Cash On Delivery (COD) service. But soon, all issues related to the mode of payment were resolved. E-commerce has given us more exposure. Now, we get orders from several locations from neighbouring states, besides the local market,” he said. The first in his family to go tech-savvy, Chandan hopes to set an example for the coming generations.The Digital India campaign and the far reach of the Internet has turned things around for many. Harleen Kaur, CMO of online portal TrendyBharat, said: “The handicraft industry in India is growing at a steady pace. What is actually required to preserve this sector is the exploration of the right path. We believe in promoting the traditional market and want to serve as a medium to provide exposure to the work of local artisans.”

Haj application process goes digital, mobile app launched

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Giving a digital push to the Haj application process for the first time, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in Mumbai on Monday launched a mobile application which will provide information and facilitate e-payments for the pilgrimage.”It is for the first time that Haj application process is going to be digital,” Naqvi said during the launch of the event at Haj House in south Mumbai.”This is a major initiative in the government’s ‘Digital India’ programme,” he said.
ALSO READ Centre has started preparations for Haj: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi”The Ministry of Minority Affairs has joined Digital India campaign in a big way. We have made several processes regarding Haj digital or online. The Central government has been encouraging online applications for next Haj so that people can get an opportunity for the pilgrimage with complete transparency and comfort,” Naqvi said.The mobile app will be available on Google Play store from on Monday. The next Haj schedule has already been announced and applications will be accepted from Monday. The last date for submitting applications is January 24.Applying for Haj, enquiry and information, news and updates and e-payment are the main features of the app. The application can be made directly on the app. Five adults and two infants can apply as a group. A PDF copy of the form will go to applicant’s email.After affixing the photo, the printout with documents is to be sent to the state Haj committees. Registration fees can also be paid through this app.Naqvi said that last month, a new website of Haj was launched in New Delhi. The website is in Hindi, Urdu and English languages which will provide all the necessary information regarding Haj.The website also lists “Do’s and Don’ts” for the Haj pilgrimage and also a film informing about various aspects of the pilgrimage, Naqvi said. Last year, about 45,843 people had applied for Haj online, which was about 11% of total applications received from across the nation for the pilgrimage.”We have been making efforts to make the process of online application simple and easy so that more and more people can apply online for next Haj pilgrimage,” Naqvi said. Maharashtra was at the top place regarding online applications for Haj 2016, with a total of 10,960 people having applied online.Altogether 9,257 online applications had been received from Kerala; 5,407 from Uttar Pradesh; 2,983 from Telangana; 2,426 from Jammu and Kashmir and 2,425 online applications had been received from Gujarat last year.About 99,903 people went to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for Haj from 21 embarkation points across India through Haj Committee of India during Haj 2016. Besides, about 36,000 pilgrims had proceeded for Haj through private tour operators.The Central government and Haj Committee of India have already started preparations to ensure that the next Haj is completely smooth and convenient for the pilgrims, the minister said. “We have received several important suggestions on Haj pilgrimage and we are moving forward keeping in mind these suggestions,” Naqvi said.Discussions have been held with officials of Civil Aviation Ministry to ensure aircraft with modern facilities for Haj pilgrims, he said.

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